Here Are 5 Reasons Why President Trump Vetoed the NDAA

Prompting consternation and annoyance among lawmakers on Capitol Hill, President Trump has decided to veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), a major military funding bill, for the fiscal year 2021.

As the NDAA generally does every year, it passed both the House and the Senate by an overwhelming bipartisan majority. However, the president insisted that the bill was woefully inadequate in the state in which it was brought to his desk, both because of what it included and what it failed to include.

In his veto message delivered on December 23, President Trump made clear that he considered the NDAA in its current form to be another shameful example of Washington swamp politics. He decided to veto the bill despite generally being in favor of increased military spending. Here are five reasons that the president gave for that decision.

1. It Keeps Trump From Bringing the Troops Home

One of President Trump’s calling cards during both his presidential runs in 2016 and 2020 was his staunch opposition to the established bipartisan foreign policy consensus in Washington. For many decades, both parties have embroiled American military forces in an enormous number of conflicts around the world. Despite the agreement among both Republican and Democratic politicians to continue doing this, the public has consistently been opposed to the policy.

President Trump promised to scale down or end what he termed the “endless wars” of Washington. The NDAA prevented him from doing this in any significant way. It stopped him from bringing soldiers home from countries that pose no conceivable military threat to the United States, like Germany and South Korea. As the Constitution deems the president to be the commander in chief of the military, Trump views this as blatantly unconstitutional.

Since it has recently been revealed that many unelected bureaucrats and military officials have been deliberately sabotaging the president’s attempts to bring troops home from Afghanistan, his veto constitutes one more strike against the swamp.

2. It Renames Military Bases Named After Confederate Generals

The NDAA requires that American military bases that have been named after Confederate generals, like Fort Bragg in North Carolina, be renamed. The president and his supporters view this as an attempt by left-wing social engineers to rewrite American history and culturally extinguish the American South.


3. It Neither Abolishes nor Reforms Section 230

Section 230 is an obscure law that essentially enabled the creation of the internet as we know it. It allows websites to be free from legal liability for the content that users post there.

The law has been garnering increased attention lately, however. Big social media companies like Google and Facebook have for a long time now been taking heavy-handed measures to silence conservatives. They have therefore been acting like publishers with their own editorial policies instead of like neutral platforms. Critics of these tech firms say that this behavior means they should no longer be protected from legal liability by Section 230.

President Trump has wanted to reform Section 230 to bring it in line with current realities. Since the NDAA leaves Section 230 exactly as it is, President Trump has vetoed the bill.

4. It Slows the Rollout of 5G

The president has complained that the NDAA would slow down the country’s ability to transition to using 5G networks, especially in rural areas. This is a great source of concern for him as countries like China have been speeding through the transition to 5G. Trump does not want America to be left behind by its competitors.

5. It Ties the President’s Hands in How He Uses Military Funds

According to the president, the NDAA restricts “the amount of military construction funds that can be used to respond to a national emergency” in ways that he thinks are inappropriate.